Looking for a Chiropractor or Acupuncturist in Brooklyn?
I recently did a phone interview with Dr. Karen Thomas of Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope. We have known each other for 2 years.
She started her practice in January 1988, one year after she graduated from New York Chiropractic College. She had the entrepreneurial spirit in her. Dr. Thomas knew right off that she wanted to open her own practice. She was a young mother and practiced part-time for several years. This also allowed her to begin studying acupuncture at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She completed these studies in 1998.
Dr. Thomas has always possessed a confidence in her ability to help her patients. Most new patients came to her through referrals and word of mouth. It took Dr. Thomas some time to establish a website visibility which promoted her practice to a wider audience of perspective patients.
Why Do People Come To Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope Brooklyn?
Today Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture is thriving and celebrating its 30th Year in business. The practice consists of two additional highly specialized chiropractors, a new part-time acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner who is trained in herbology as well as three additional staff people.
The main reason patients come to Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture is for its wide range of specialties and successful results. Many patients come for treatment of their pain which may be the results of acute injuries or chronic debilitating disease.
In 1998, Dr. Karen Thomas originally specialized in chiropractic neurology and retrained in 2006 - 2008. The retraining strengthened her skills in both diagnosis and treatment of neurological and brain-based problems. She fine tuned her acupuncture studies to complement her neurological work by studying scalp acupuncture to help treat brain disorders (movement, balance, etc.).
Dr. Vicente Saraco has more than 30 years experience. He has practiced internationally and is fluent in Spanish, and Italian. Dr. Saraco has a background in massage therapy, exercise physiology and nutrition.
Dr. Jasmine Joseph specializes in Cox technique for acute and chronic disc injuries. Dr. Joseph also studied Webster technique, a treatment that helps turn a breech baby. Dr. Joseph has also studied Activator, ART and Graston techniques.
What Role Has The Internet Played In Your Business?
The internet has played a big part in building the business of Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture. The business website as well as multiple sources of positive patient reviews steadily brings in new patients. Currently, more than 50% of new patients report finding the business on the internet and are encouraged by the excellent reviews.
The additional 50% of patients are referred by their insurance companies, friends, family and co-workers.
Insurance Co-Pay and Deductibles
A difficult aspect of maintaining a practice in 2017 is dealing with insurance reimbursements. Many patients do not have insurance coverage for acupuncture or chiropractic care. People pay a lot money for their health insurance and are often unable to pay additionally for uncovered services. In 1988 when Dr. Thomas started her practice, the process of insurance reimbursement was different. Insurance covered 80% of the medical bill and patients paid 20%.
Now, every insurance company's policy is different. Some patients pay a small co-pay ($25) while others are quite high ($75). Some policies limit the number of visits (1 per month). Most policies have high deductibles. Some people have $5,000 to $10,000 deductibles. Even when the deductible is met, there may be a hefty co-pay. Additionally, Insurance companies dictate fees, limiting payments or reimbursements.
Beginning May 1, Dr. Cindy Wong is joining the practice with a background in Chinese acupuncture and herbology. She specializes in acupuncture face-lift, and women's disorder including infertility.
Certified Cox-Technique Practitioner
Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture recently ordered a new custom-made $20,000 Cox Flexion-Distraction Table. This adjusting table will be useful in helping rehabilitate lumbar disc injury. This technique helps prevent back surgery and permanent disability. Dr. Jasmine Joseph is the only practitioner in Brooklyn who is a certified Cox-Technique practitioner.
Dr. Thomas' Passion
For the future, Dr. Thomas plans to further her interest in chiropractic neurology and acupuncture by pursuing a certification in neuro-acupuncture. This certification requires a one year course, studying with Dr. Huo in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She will continue to perform independent medical examinations (IMEs), expert witness testimony, peer review reporting, and some level of office management. Dr. Thomas' passion is acute patient care and rehabilitation management.
In Dr. Thomas' experience, good diagnosis is paramount to treating or referring a patient appropriately.
Case Study #1
Recently, a woman with right-sided mid-back pain reported that another doctor has diagnosed her with intercostal myospasm. In my opinion, this was likely a misdiagnosis. I had her take several deep breaths as I assessed her lower rib excursion.
Case Study #2
During an IME, I observed a deviated tongue when I asked the patient to stick out her tongue and say "AHH". Further examination revealed hyper-reflexive deep tendon reflexes as well as slowed slurred speech.
Of course, most patients come to us when chiropractic or acupuncture is appropriate. I am happy they come to Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture because I believe we offer the best of chiropractic and acupuncture care.
Leisure and Traveling
In her spare time, you can find Dr. Thomas at the gym doing cardio-vascular and core training to maintain a strong and healthy body. She enjoy swimming, kayaking, biking, Tai-Chi, Pilates, and yoga.
Dr. Thomas loves to travel and just returned from Panama. Last year, she visited Italy. Two years ago, she went on Safari in Tanzania, Africa. She likes to travel the world and spend spare time with friends and family.
I try to make an effort to stay in touch with friends because we get into our routines and friendship can fall by the waste side. I love visiting California where I have long-term friendships that I maintain. I have a daughter who lives in D.C. who I often visit. My only brother lives in Virginia and has two children and we often all get together.
Wrapping Up Interview With Dr. Karen Thomas of Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope
Interviewer: Benson (a/k/a Brooklyn Local Review)
Interviewee: Dr. Karen Thomas
Edited and Proofread: Dr. Karen Thomas and Benson (a/k/a Brooklyn Local Review)
Images Provided With Permission By: Dr. Karen Thomas and her website.
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